Features


Cease & Desist: Ill. Gets Tough with Square and ‘Unlicensed Money Transmitters’ (March 2013)

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation recently released five cease and desist orders from January 2013 against six entities for unlicensed activities under the state’s Transmitters of Money Act. These six entities offer a variety of services in Illinois, including domestic and international money transfer, bill payment services and prepaid cards.  One of […]

Fed’s Interchange and Routing FAQs Throw Prepaid in a Tizzy (March 2013)

The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) quietly released changes to its FAQs on Reg. II’s restrictions on debit card interchange fees and routing. Five new FAQs were added and one existing FAQ was revised. Changes in two areas directly affect prepaid cards: the exemption for “general use prepaid cards” and the requirement for adding a second […]

The rush to Russia

Structural reforms and overhauls of financial infrastructures are intended to turn Moscow into an international financial centre, but there is still a long way to go.

FATCA: joining the KYC dots?

FATCA compliance might not need a separate programme – it ought to be covered by the same approach as AML, RDR and KYC regulations, among others.

The risks of runaway regulation

While laudable in intention, reforms to Europe’s OTC derivatives markets may be in danger of inadvertently adding so much cost for participants that the original purpose is undermined, according to Anthony Belchambers, chief executive officer at the Futures and Options Association.

Squawker prepares algo-free equity market

Capital markets are broken because liquidity is fragmented and there is no way for the sell-side to pool its liquidity – but that will soon change, according to Christopher Gregory, co-founder and chief executive at start up trading venue Squawker.

Java in the cloud for financial services

Java is the most ubiquitous programming language out there, but it doesn’t work well in the cloud. One approach to overcoming the problem is featured among the Accenture-sponsored FinTech Innovation Lab London finalists.

Mixing up the pieces

The introduction of a seven-day account switching service in the autumn is meant to increase competition among UK High Street banks. Will it succeed?

Data protection: the next Y2K?

Transatlantic friction over data protection isn’t exactly a new problem – the industry has been faced with pending regulations for over a decade, but the conflicting demands of European data privacy and US intelligence gathering legislation are coming together to make the issue a serious problem for banking technologists.

SEPA Uncertainty

Big banks and their large corporate clients are in the final stages of preparation for the SEPA end date of February next year, but what about the smaller clients in the non-euro countries?

FCB’s Exit from Issuing Leaves Program Managers Seeking New Partners (February 2013)

February 2013   By Adam Perrotta, Assistant Editor Dozens of prepaid program managers are scrambling to find a new bank issuer with First California Bank (FCB) exiting the issuing business ahead of its acquisition by PacWest Bancorp.                                    In November, PacWest agreed to pay $231 million for FCB’s parent company, Westlake Village, Calif.-based First California Financial […]

Legal Entity Identifiers: between a “ROC” and hard decisions

As the global method of identifying entities and their ownership structures, the Legal Entity Identifier forms a central part of the G20’s crisis-prevention toolbox. After a few chaotic years of LEI debate and design, regulators are finally nearing the long anticipated starting line for use of the world’s first singular identifier.

HFT: time to talk about how?

2012 seemed like the year of regulators taking a prolonged look at computer trading – defining what it might be, its potential effects, why it may be problematic. It is still far from clear that we have answers to these fundamental questions.

Speed is not enough for exchange competition

Speed is becoming less of a competitive advantage for exchanges as regulation and the need to support long-term investors comes to the fore, according to Christian Katz, chief executive at SIX Swiss Exchange.

Customer complaints – a.k.a. customer feedback

Payment protection insurance has dominated the coverage of complaints against banks for some time now, but many observers think that it is just the beginning of a wave of grievances about to engulf the retail banking industry.

Exchanges: time for a rebuild?

Technical problems at Nasdaq and BATS have reinforced the impression among many market observers that there may be something seriously wrong with equity market structure. Recent history reads like a catalogue of disaster for many of the world’s most prominent trading venues.

Planning for profitability

Regulatory demands and improved profitability are fuelling a move to dynamic capital planning, but few banks have firm plans.

Washington watchdog raps regulators over Dodd-Frank rule-making

US financial services regulators have not properly evaluated the impact of rules they have proposed or introduced in implementing the Dodd-Frank Act, and should improve their co-ordination says a critical report from a congressional watchdog.

Cameron’s EU speech: a battle of wills

UK Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech earlier this week in which he promised to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU by 2018, if he is re-elected. The speech reflects pressures not just in the Conservative party, but fundamental differences in Europe as a whole over how to approach financial markets and the wider economy.

Trendy techs top CIO priority lists for 2013 says Gartner study

Faced with flatlining IT budgets, global CIOs must better exploit the business potential of technology to achieve results – currently they realise only 43% of that potential says Gartner. Top of the priority list is what the research firm calls ‘digital technologies’. In this it includes mobile, analytics, Big Data, social media networking and cloud, […]

Fightin’ talk: the regulatory backlash begins …

Far from coming out of a post-crisis period of grieving and re-learning how to engage with the wider world, the financial services industry looks like it is returning to its old belligerent self.

Internet fraud: follow the money

While the internet has provided inumerable benefits, it has also been the field for new types of fraud and rights infringements. If the financing used by people who illegally upload or otherwise exploit content were cut off, might it be possible to combat the spread of their activities?

Leading with remittances – a new retail banking segment

The remit of the World Bank and the Gates Foundation is to focus on flows of money to developing economies, so much of the publicity is about those and as a result, much of what we understand about remittances is about those markets. And they are not to be underestimated.

Companies to Watch: Cardfree (January 2013)

San Francisco-based startup Cardfree is taking a merchant-centric approach to mobile wallets, leveraging a leadership team that has worked on mobile programs for some big-name retailers.

The Hottest Payments Topics of 2012 (January 2013)

January 2013   By Bill Grabarek, Senior Editor If anyone thought last year couldn’t compare with the events of 2011, they quickly were proved wrong as 2012 turned out to be every bit as transformational. In the U.S. market, we saw a fledgling federal watchdog agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), go from crawling […]

Brokers face grim prospects for 2013

Brokers are being forced to consider novel approaches to doing business – including outsourcing of areas that have been previously seen as core – as they struggle to work out viable economic models for their products and services.

The ART of risk management

Since the 2007 global financial crisis there has been a lot of debate on potential changes across the banking services industry and the potential consequences. Recent market surveys suggest that surprisingly little progress has been made in risk and compliance management and some lack of clarity as to what to do next. Reacting to regulatory change is one thing, but the real goal is to build clarity and confidence that banks are doing the right thing in the right way at the right time

Mobile security: a moving target …

Mobile and NFC payment technologies have been on the rise in recent years. But with many merchants and retail outlets still reluctant to invest in the new technologies, and with the rise of fraud in existing solutions, industry participants are divided over how and whether the technology will ever gain widespread acceptance in developed markets.

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